Rep. Justin Amash, who is my representative in Congress, is an interesting guy. He’s a Tea Party-type when it comes to budget issues, but is libertarian-minded when it comes to a lot of military, foreign policy and other issues. Sometimes I want to strangle him, sometimes I want to hug him. He’s facing a Republican primary challenge from a guy named Brian Ellis, who is attacking him for voting no on an absurd “In God We Trust” resolution sponsored by the loathsome Randy Forbes.
In a press release sent out on Thursday, Brian Ellis linked Amash’s 2011 vote to the atheist movement.
“‘In God We Trust’ was first placed on U.S. coins by Congress in 1864 and officially became our national motto in 1956,” he said. “Through lawsuits, atheists have attempted to impose their will and remove the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ from our currency. They have been unsuccessful so far, but to make clear America’s commitment to our heritage and faith in God, the U.S. House of Representatives, as the voice of the people, voted 396-9 to reaffirm ‘In God We Trust’ as our national motto and support the display on public buildings. Amazingly, Congressman Justin Amash voted ‘no.’”
“From President Washington’s Inaugural address to President Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer to President Bush’s speech after the 9/11 attacks, America has rightly placed her trust in the Almighty. Justin Amash was clearly not representing the people of the 3rd District when he voted against reaffirming ‘In God We Trust’ as our national motto,” Ellis added.
Pure demagoguery, seeking to exploit a meaningless bit of symbolism that gets the rubes all fired up and weepy-eyed. Amash’s explanation of why he voted against the bill, on the other hand, is logical and correct:
“The fear that unless ‘In God We Trust’ is displayed throughout the government, Americans will somehow lose their faith in God, is a dim view of the profound religious convictions many citizens have,” he said. “The faith that inspired many of the Founders of this country — the faith I practice — is stronger than that. Trying to score political points with unnecessary resolutions should not be Congress’s priority. I voted no.”
As he should have.